Posts Tagged Ward LaFrance Ambassador

Crete Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa for #TBT:

Engine 705 in Crete Illinois is this early 1970’s Ward LaFrance.  Not many Wards are found in the south suburbs.  
Mike Summa
vintage Ward LaFrance fire engine

Crete FD Engine 705. Mike Summa photo

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North Maine Fire Protection District history

For #throwbackthursday some photos of the old North Maine FPD Ward LaFrance fleet

Ward LaFrance Ambassador fire engine

North Maine FPD Engine 1. Larry Shapiro photo

Ward LaFrance Ambassador fire engine

North Maine FPD Engine 2. Larry Shapiro photo

Ward LaFrance Ambassador mind-mount Grove aerial ladder

North Maine FPD Truck 1. Larry Shapiro photo

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Oak Lawn Fire Department history

This from Mike Summa:

Hello there,
I took my family to a fire show in the early 1990s in Chicago Ridge.  I snapped this picture of Oak Lawn’s then-new Ward LaFrance engine, turned into a squad truck.  Thought that I’d like to share.
Thank you,
Mike S.
Oak Lawn FD Squad 1

Oak Lawn Squad 1. Mike Summa photo

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Chicago FD History – Ward LaFrance

Images and information from Dave Fornell about some of Chicago’s Ward LaFrance apparatus:

I was going through my files and came across some photos of what I’ve always considered as one of my most favorite Chicago pumpers; the seven 1970, Ward LaFrance 2,000-GPM engines.  It is interesting to note that the rigs had Cummins NTF high-torque, 365-HP engines that were needed to power the two-stage Hale Q pumps.  The five trucks delivered the same year had less expensive Detroit 350-HP powerplants.

After the great snow in 1967, rigs were specified with rear-mounted, 20,000-lb hydraulic winches.  Both the engines and trucks sported these.  Ward LaFrance, a manufacturer whose performance can be described as somewhat spotty, did a great job on these rigs.  I was impressed by the brushed stainless steel pump layout and extremely expensive, but highly accurate, Crosby black face gauges that were provided on the panel.  Never seen these used before or since.

The rigs had relatively short wheelbases, but extended bodies behind the rear axle.  This body style was also used on Ford chassis pumpers purchased later.

The engines were joined by five trucks mounting 100′ Grove ladders.  With today’s NFPA ratings, the ladders, based on Grove 18-ton cranes, would be classified as heavy-duty, with 500-lb tip loads.  All of Chicago’s other ladders (ALF, Seagrave, Pirsch) purchased around that time would be medium-duty with 250-lb. tip load ratings.

The Grove ladders were massive and heavy–too heavy to be supported properly by a single axle. The rigs proved troublesome during their service lives with continuous brake and axle failures.  The fact that they also had a 300-gallon booster tank, pump, and twin reels didn’t help either.  On the other hand, take a look at the ground ladder compliment; 2 ea. 30′, 2 ea. 40′, a 50′, and 20′ carried under the turntable.  Three roof ladders were carried each side.

I remember climbing the main of one of these rigs at a fire where the operator positioned the tip about 12″ above the parapet, just like they did with the old wooden ladders that would then drift down as you climbed them. The Grove was rigid, and even with our entire engine stretching a line to the roof for point of vantage operation, that tip never dropped an inch nor did the ladder bounce as all the others did.

Circumstances caused me to come into possession of the original factory delivery photo negatives, which are reproduced here. I’ve also included photos I shot of the engines undergoing acceptance testing near McCormick Place, The rear views show the winch installation. Also note that the two rear discharges had 3-1/2″ boat hose threads (the rigs carried a 700′ bed of it).

When I was fanning on the West Side, Division 2 Chief Dan Lynch would always special call Engine 113 to drop the 3-1/2″ into a Snorkel when he had a still and box.

Two photos show the Grove ladder in operation.  The first is at the Bedford Hotel fire on the near West Side early in the 70s.  If my foggy recollection is correct, there were two extra alarms working in the city at the time when the Bedford fire hit, and no Snorkels were available.  2nd Deputy Bill Foley, who normally was in charge of the shops, took command.  That is the first time that I had ever seen two ladder pipes and no Snorkels working at an extra alarm fire in Chicago.

The second was shot at an extra alarm on the South Side, but its location is lost to history.  Another negative scanned at the same time shows Engine 63 operating, so maybe someone can identify the company.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas.

ACD

 

Chicago Ward LaFrance fire truck

Dave Fornell collection

Chicago Ward LaFrance fire engine

Dave Fornell collection

Chicago Ward LaFrance fire engine

Dave Fornell collection

Chicago Ward LaFrance fire engine

Dave Fornell collection

Ward LaFrance fire engine

Bill Friedrich collection

Ward LaFrance fire engines delivered to Chicago

Bill Friedrich collection

Ward LaFrance Grove ladder truck

Bill Friedrich collection

Historic Chicago fire scene at the Bedford Hotel

Dave Fornell collection

Classic Chicago fire scene with Grove aerial ladde

Dave Fornell collection

More on the CFD Ward LaFrance apparatus is HERE and by entering Ward LaFrance in the search field

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Down memory lane … North Maine FPD

These images are from the archives of Steve Redick

North Maine Fire Protection history

Steve Redick photo

North Maine Fire Protection history

Steve Redick photo

North Maine Fire Protection history

Steve Redick photo

North Maine Fire Protection history

Steve Redick photo

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Chicago Fire Department: Truck Companies over the years. Part 1

This from Martin Nowak:

I’ve talked with Squad546, who has allowed me to submit these pictures. I’ll have several posts within the next few months. For now I’d like to show some CFD truck companies over the years.

Former Tower Ladder 5 – 1988 Federal/E-One 95′
Former Tower Ladder 14 -1996 HME/LTI 102′
Former Truck (Aerial Tower) 1 – 1988 Federal/E-One 135′
Former Truck 2 – 1988 Federal/E-One 110′
Former Truck 33 – 1993 Seagrave 100′
Former Truck 34 – 1970 Ward LaFrance Grove 100′
Former Truck 62, then Truck 8 after the 1994 rehab. Pictured as a spare. 1978 Seagrave 100′
Chicago FD E-ONE tower ladder

Former Tower Ladder 5 – 1988 Federal/E-One 95′. Squad546 photo

Chicago FD Tower Ladder 14 HME LTI

Former Tower Ladder 14 -1996 HME/LTI 102′. Squad546 photo

Chicago Fire Department 135' aerial ladder Truck 1

Former Truck (Aerial Tower) 1 – 1988 Federal/E-One 135′. Squad546 photo

Chicago Fire Department 100' aerial ladder Truck 2 E-ONE

Former Truck 2 – 1988 Federal/E-One 110′. Squad546 photo

Chicago FD ladder truck Seagrave

Former Truck 33 – 1993 Seagrave 100′. Squad546 photo

Chicago Fire Department Ward LaFrance Grove ladder truck

Former Truck 34 – 1970 Ward LaFrance Grove 100′. Squad 546 photo

 

Chicago FD Seagrave ladder truck

Former Truck 62, then Truck 8 after the 1994 rehab. Pictured as a spare. 1978 Seagrave 100′. Squad546 photo

 

 

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CFD Apparatus History – trucks with boosters

Some additional information about the aerials purchased by the Chicago Fire Department in the late 60s and early 70s . Some have inquired about the fact that several aerials were delivered with booster reels and 300-gallon water tanks. There were several types of aerials purchased by the CFD during this time frame.

These included:

  • (3) 1968 Mack CF/Pirsch 100-foot aerials (with a red cab face) (300-gallon tanks)
  • (1) 1968 Seagrave aerial with an FWD chassis featuring rear steering for Truck 63 at O’Hare Airport
  • (8) 1970 Seagrave rear-mounts (250-gallon tanks)
  • (5) 1970 Ward LaFrance/Grove units assigned to Truck 7, Truck 12, Truck 18, Truck 21, and Truck 34 (300-gallon tanks)
  • (3) 1972 Mack CF 700/Pirsch 100-foot aerials (with a silver cab face) (300-gallon tanks)

At some point in time, the shops drained the water tanks and removed the booster reels as seen in some of the photos posted HERE and below.

Future posts will show more of these aerials, but the photos here show a few examples.

Chicago Fire Department 1968 Seagrave Rear Admiral O'hare Airport

This is a 1968 Seagrave Rear Admiral 100′ aerial with a 500-gallon booster tank and twin booster reels. It features an FWD chassis with rear steering and was assigned to Truck 63 at O’Hare Airport. Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago Fire Department Truck 5 1972 Mack CF Pirsch

Truck 5 was assigned one of three 1972 100-foot Pirsch rear-mount aerials mounted on a Mack CF chassis with a 500-gallon water tank and twin booster reels. Larry Shapiro photo

Previous posts in this series depicted CFD trucks with boosters from 1967 and CFD trucks with boosters from 1968.

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CFD Swap Meet and Muster

The swap meet and fire muster was co-sponsored by the 5-11 Club and Fire Buffs of Illinois on Saturday, June 16th at the Quinn Fire Academy. Here are a few images from the event.

Chicago Fire Department Haz Mat Unit Hazardous Incident Team

Several CFD companies came by including 5-1-1. Larry Shapiro photo

antique Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief Dodge Monaco

Radioman’s Dave Weaver brought his CFD Dodge Monaco for Division 7. Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago Fire Department MAB 8-8-12 Medical Ambulance Bus

The new CFD (8-8-12) was open and on display in the yard. Bill Friedrich photo

Ahrens Fox engine pumping water at a muster

An Ahrens Fox was pumping in the street. Carl Misek photo

Chicago Fire Department muster

Where there are fire trucks posed, there will be photographers snapping photos. Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago Fire Department Training Academy Crimson engine

The new engine for the training academy was positioned for photos. Larry Shapiro photo

Chicago Fire Department Training Academy Crimson engine

A view showing the rear of the new training academy engine. Larry Shapiro photo

Wadsworth Ohio Ward LaFrance Ambassador P80 engine belonging to Doug Reno

The Wadsworth Ohio Ward LaFrance Ambassador P80 engine belonging to Doug Reno (of Wadsworth, IL) was one of several on display. Larry Shapiro photo

 

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Fire engine and Steam Locomotive unite

From Scott Peterson:

Found this driving thru Hebron IL. Bought from a Skokie fireman by Doug Reno. It'll be at the Illinois Railway museum this weekend and the next two. It will fill a steam Engine. The piping on the driver's side was fabricated for a quick-fill method of the rig's tank while it is in Union to fill the steam engine The Leviathon. Rig is in really good shape! It carries WLF so 80-1129.

1975 Ward LaFrance Ambassador engine Wadsworth OH
1975 Ward LaFrance Ambassador engine Wadsworth OH
1975 Ward LaFrance Ambassador engine Wadsworth OH
1975 Ward LaFrance Ambassador engine Wadsworth OH
1975 Ward LaFrance Ambassador engine Wadsworth OH

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CFD Apparatus History – Ward LaFrance

To supplement our multi-part series on the Ward LaFrance apparatus used by the CFD, Bill Friedrich has submitted copies of the 1970 Ward LaFrance sell sheets/brochures featuring these units. Previous posts can be found HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Ward LaFrance 1970 brochure with Chicago engines

This Ward LaFrance brochure features a shot of all seven Ward LaFrance 2,000-GPM engines for Chicago in 1970. Bill Friedrich collection

Ward LaFrance 1970 brochure with Chicago engines

All sides of a 1970 Ward LaFrance 2,000-GPM engine for Chicago with complete specifications. Bill Friedrich collection

Ward LaFrance 1970 brochure with Chicago ladder trucks

Both sides of a 1970 Ward LaFrance/Grove 100' ladder truck. These had 300-gallon booster tanks, Hale 2CBP booster pumps, Grove 4S-100 ladders, and "many other items of special equipment.". Bill Friedrich collection

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